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Commission after quitting Massachusetts

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  • Commission after quitting Massachusetts

    I recently left a job without notice for reasons that I will not get into. When I was hired I was told that I would get an hourly wage and then a commission at the end of the month after all my work sold had been accounted for in the computer system. I was told by the owner of the company that I would not be receiving my commission because I quit without notice so I was not entitled to my commission check. Can he do this?

  • #2
    What does your commission agreement say?

    It's been quite a few years since I worked with employees on commission, so the law may be different now. But the last time I consulted the AG's office about commissions after termination, they told me that the employee would be due commission for any sales they COMPLETED before they left. They would not be due commissions for any sales they may have worked on, but that were actually closed by someone else after the employee left.

    Phil, is this still the case?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      There was no written agreement on commission, I was told by the owner that it would be a percentage of sales completed within a month and that the commission would be paid when the month was closed in accounting. This was a verbal agreement between myself and the owner of the company.


      • #4
        Commissions are considered a "wage" under the statute "when the amount of such commissions, less allowable or authorized deductions, has been definitely determined and has become due and payable to such employee."

        As to how you determine when a commission is "earned" by you. It's typically when everything you must do as part of the sales process is complete. If other people had to complete "your" work after you left (and it was more than trivial additional effort), then you probably didn't earn your commission - no different then if you were still employed and other people had to complete your work. If there is no written plan stating your exact responsibilities, then you look to company practice.

        This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (

        This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.